Is working in an office harmful to one’s health? It can be. Though industries like construction, medicine, and agriculture are known for workplace hazards, a seemingly innocuous nine to five desk job can present hidden – and visible – risks for workers.
An Environmental Issue
Indoor air quality should be a great concern for anyone working in an enclosed setting. Invisible to the naked eye, pollutants and toxic air can be floating around the office space and absorbed in flooring, furniture, and walls. Breathing in dangerous chemicals, adhesives, paints and other materials can cause serious short-and long-term injuries. This is why proper ventilation in offices is so important, yet it is often overlooked.
Correcting the problem can be complicated. The health symptoms may not present themselves until it is too late or they may be unclear, so the cause may never even be addressed. There are not any consistent standards for gauging pollutant levels or exposure limits in offices. Safety measures that involve maintaining proper climate control and immediately addressing issues such as strange odors and employee sicknesses should be put in place.
Another Silent Hazard
Employees can experience long-term injuries from repeated actions that are performed incorrectly. When computer stations are not set up ergonomically, they can cause back, shoulder and neck pain, and eye strain. These can lead to long-term musculoskeletal problems. Addressing these issues can reduce the chance of injury, while increasing work productivity. Simple things like tilting the computer monitor slightly downward, adjusting the seating position, using good lighting, and taking frequent, small breaks can all help. It is essential to have good posture and no discomfort at a work station; an employee that is not comfortable should tell their supervisor.
Using Good Sense
Carrying and moving items of any size can cause injuries if done incorrectly. Employees should never lift anything that is too heavy for them. When lifting, it should be done using the legs rather than the back; squatting down and keeping the back straight are good guidelines. Individuals can also get hurt from bumping into other workers, desks, copy machines, and cabinets; items can be dropped and break toes; a door can be opened too quickly and injure someone’s eyes. Office workers have also been known to get jewelry, scarves, and hair caught in office machinery.
Most of these can be avoided by simply paying attention. Employees often get distracted, and do not focus on the task at hand. This lack of concentration also leads to the most common type of office injury:
Slips and Falls
The highest percentage of disabling office injuries result from falls. These can be caused by tripping over an open file drawer, an electrical cord, or on a wet floor. Hazards like loose carpeting, debris, and poor lighting also pose risks for office workers; using a chair to stand on instead of a stepstool or ladder leads to accidents. Workers and management should take proactive steps, like drying up spills, securing cords and wires, wearing non-skid soles, and removing objects that block walkways.
Contact a Philadelphia Workplace Accident Lawyer at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. for Help With Your Injury Claim
If you have been injured at work, turn to the experienced Philadelphia workplace accident lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. We handle all types of Workers’ Compensation cases, including those involving office worker injuries. Contact us today by calling 888-999-1962 or complete our online contact form. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, allowing us to serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.